More from the UN Report Criticizing the Danish Government:

Agora translates the report from the French; very much worth reading — here are two more excerpts beyond what I blogged about before (if any readers have corrections to relevant parts of the translation, please post them in the comments):

The caricature relating to the sexual gratification of suicide bombers with virgin women suggests the return of a age-old historical islamophobic Western imagery: the association of Islam and its prophet with sexual depravity. The way in which these caricatures defames Islam has now been defined....

So actual beliefs of some Muslims about Islamic theology may not be alluded to (see, e.g., the CBS News interview with a Palestinian would-be suicide bomber, Aug. 19, 2001, in which the bomber reports that "I described to him how God would compensate the martyr for sacrificing his life for his land. If you become a martyr, God will give you 70 virgins, 70 wives and everlasting happiness."), lest this somehow "defame" Islam by "associating [it] and its prophet with sexual depravity." (Incidentally, I doubt that many people would find it depraved to want to have 70 wives serving you in heaven; the depravity lies in the attacks on innocents that some believe earn you this reward.)

The Special Rapporteur notes with satisfaction the reactions of the leaders of various religions, illustrated also by the statement made by the European Council of Religious Leaders. This declaration invites all religious leaders to do their utmost to reject and stop the acts of violence and terror which are carried out in the name of God, and condemns the use of the Freedom of Expression for blasphemous ends, which is seen as a violation of this freedom when it is exerted without taking into account the detrimental effects on individuals and groups.

So, according to the UN, the age-old crime of blasphemy — which I had assumed Enlightenment free speech principles had successfully interred, at least in the West — needs to be revived as a "violation" of the "freedom of expression." In this respect, the UN official wants to drag the West back into the 17th century. Will the West obediently go?

You can tell they aren't Italian. For the Italian man with wife, mother, mother-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, aunts, etc., all ganging up on him, 70 wives sounds like the martyrdom part!

cathy :-)
3.22.2006 6:56pm
The Boring Made Dull (mail) (www):
Yup, at least most of the west will go.
3.22.2006 8:00pm
guest (mail):
Incidentally, I doubt that many people would find it depraved to want to have 70 wives serving you in heaven

Speaking as a woman, I'd certainly classify eternal servitude as corrupt or degenerate.
3.22.2006 9:38pm
just a woman (mail):

Incidentally, I doubt that many people would find it depraved to want to have 70 wives serving you in heaven

Wow, this is a particularly disappointing and offensive statement. Incidentally, I do think 'many people' would find that depraved- perhaps starting with the billions of women on this earth who men look in life and now apparently in a perfect afterlife to subjugate for their service.

Which brings me to ask- do women ever write for this site?
3.23.2006 1:56am
I'm curious as to when it was decided that religion was elevated to this special status. I'm certainly not arguing against religious freedom, but why do these people consider it wrong to offend someone's religious beliefs, but not wrong to offend someone's moral or ethical beliefs absent a religious connotation?

Why is it okay to offend people as individuals, but not okay to offend them as members of a group? I know I'm starting to sound like a militiaman, but it seems as though a goal of all this is to lessen the notion of individual rights and expand the idea of group privileges, all to some nefarious end.

Can't write any helicopters everywhere...dots on highway signs taking on new meanings...must get back to compound...tell wives to sound the alarm...
3.23.2006 6:25am
Extreme masochism is usually classed as depraved, and I can't think of any other way to categorize having seventy wives. It's hard enough to keep one woman happy (either in or out of bed), let alone seventy.
3.23.2006 10:42am
Just wondering, what does the UN have to say about Egyptian broadcasts of documentaries promoting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion as true?
3.23.2006 1:00pm
Nathan Hall (mail):
I love the "balance" from the European Council of Religious Leaders. They condemn "violence and terror carried out in the name of God" alongside "the use of Freedom of Expression for blasphemous ends." Obviously, those are really the two main problems wreaking havoc in the world right now, deserving of equal billing.
3.23.2006 1:03pm
Nathan Hall (mail):
Heh, I wonder if the UN has bothered to issue any condemnation of Abdul Rahman's trial? They seem to be cherry picking a bit (that is to say, a lot) when it comes to applying these novel principles of free expression.
3.23.2006 1:08pm